Spring Mini Sessions
Spring Mini Sessions are here!
These are fun but fast-paced days, so in order to make sure things run smoothly we have all the information you need on how the day goes right here!
Please read all of the information below even if you have participated in our Mini Sessions previously as some things may have changed. Let us know if you have any questions!
After you read all of the information, please process your quote that was attached in the confirmation email.
Our Spring Mini Sessions will be taking place at Cross Estate Gardens at 61 Jocky Hollow Road, Bernardsville, NJ 07924. Please be aware that there is a slight walk from the parking lot to where we will be taking pictures. Some oark visitors choose to park along the road near the main building for a shorter walk, however the two way road is one lane wide, so please be careful on your parking and walking choices.
Q: Will there be an entrance fee?
A: There is no entrance fee.
Q: Where in the park will you be?
A: We will be near the main building by the gardens, which will allow access to several beautiful points of the gardens. There may be many other patrons of the park there so we may have to be flexible on locations. Please reference the map below to see where the parking is in relation to the gardens and buildings (locate the words "Cross Estate Gardens" on the left of the map -- the small black rectangles are the buildings, the thick solid black lines the road, and the parking area located by the P in the brown box).
Q: If I get lost, can I call you?
A: Unfortunately, we won't be available to answer text messages, phone calls, or emails while shooting other client's mini-sessions.
Q: Can I bring props?
A: Of course! If there is something special you would like to include in your portraits, please feel free to bring it. If you have a particular color scheme in mind and have a blanket you would like to use for sitting on that will match, please feel free to bring it. Please refrain from props that could potentially be destructive or leave behind a mess (i.e. smoke bombs, open flames, glitter, etc)
Process Upon Arrival
When you arrive at the park, you will find our volunteers camped out near the open trunk of one of our vehicles. Because of this, we ask that you arrive at least 15 minutes or more prior to your time slot.
Please make sure you have processed the quote that was attached to your confirmation email, or you will not be considered registered, and your slot can be given away to those on the waiting list.
Due to the nature of the short 15-minute mini-sessions, we will not be able to accommodate extending sessions due to late arrival. If you arrive late, photos will only be taken for as long as is remaining in your time slot. Regardless of what time the session starts, there will be no refunds.
Payments must be made through your quote that was sent to you upon confirmation of your chosen timeslot by the expiration date to confirm your slot. We will not be receiving payments on the day of the Mini Sessions.
Q: What is included in my session fee?
A: Like other sessions and events, your mini-session includes Facebook images (depending on your social media preference), an online gallery, post-processing, and a 10% off coupon. Digital files are purchased separately after receiving your online album.
Q: Why does my quote expire in 7 days?
A: We need to know if we have slots to fill with people on our waiting list if you cannot attend or change your mind.
Q: My plans suddenly changed. Can I get my money back or reschedule the mini-session?
A: Unless we need to use the rain date, no other dates for the mini-sessions will be added. We hope that you understand!
Post-Portrait Process and Ordering Information
After the event, we will go through and edit a few select images from each session and post them to our Facebook page in a Sneak Peek album. If you prefer your images not to be shared online, you can select that during the quote processing. Please note that selecting that images cannot be shared online will result in no Sneak Peeks.
Once all the images are edited (approximately 2-4 weeks), they will be uploaded to an online gallery on our website. You will receive an email letting you know your photos are ready. An unlimited-use coupon code for 10% off, good for 1 month from the gallery's posting, will be included in this email.
Q: Can I buy digital files?
A: Yes! There are several options for purchasing files directly through your online gallery.
Q: What are the price ranges for purchasing prints?
A: Prints: 4x6 - $5; 5x7 - $7: 8x10 - $10; 11x14 - $25
These are just a small sample of print sizes and products available. Canvas prints, metal prints, and books are also available. Ask for more information!
Q: How many photos will we get?
A: It depends on the people in your session, but you could end up with anywhere between 15-100 photos. The number will be lower if your young ones are having a rough day and acting up. If they're having a great day and are active and smiling, we may get a lot more shots out of them. If your group is small and mostly adults, you will probably have a somewhat lower number (as we won't have to take 20 pictures per pose to ensure no one is making googly eyes or pouting).
Q: How long will it take for the pictures to be ready?
A: It depends on where you are in the day's schedule. Photos will be processed chronologically, so the 9 am slot will be the first to be processed and will most likely be done within a couple of days. The last slot may have to wait a couple of weeks. However, the Sneak Peek album will be on Facebook within a day or two and contain pictures from all sessions (unless otherwise specified in your social media preference).
Q: What is a Sneak Peek album?
A: We get just as excited as you do about pictures! This means we can hardly wait to get back to our computers to see how they turned out. Within a few days of the event, we go through ALL the pictures quickly to pick out a couple of favorites from each session that allows social use, process them, and post them on Facebook with watermarks for you to view and share while you wait for the rest to be done.
Q: What does "Process" mean?
A: Processing or post-processing your images means we go through and fine-tune each image so it's the final work of art you would like to hang up in your home. It may include some light retouching (removal of temporary blemishes like scratches or acne) and sometimes conversion to black and white or other special color processing. This is what separates the art of photography from snapshots.
What to Wear
Colors - Gone are the days of matching attire for family portraits! These photo sessions should be about expressing your personality, not making you look like a sports team. Choose a few colors that work together and have everyone dress in those shades. When choosing colors, try to think about what the pictures will be used for. A print hanging on your living room wall? Make sure your wardrobe colors flow with the colors in your living room.
Clothes, Accessories, and Shoes - Choose a top with sleeves at least down to your elbows. Exposed arms
create an uneven balance of skin compared to the face, and most people do not like the way their upper arms photograph. If you are looking to draw attention away from your hips, stay away from pockets and other details on your hips. To give the illusion of a more defined waist, choose clothes with gathering at the waist or accessorize with a high-waist belt. If you want to include a "statement" piece to accessorize with, only choose one. Ladies if you have a killer pair of heels you want to show off, bring them! But remember our location is in an outdoor park, so bring a backup pair of shoes to change into between poses. Gents, make sure socks match pants and that your shoes are clean. Avoid white sneakers! They're incredibly distracting in a portrait. Kids should look like kids. Dress them in age-appropriate clothes that match the color scheme and tone of the rest of the family. Make sure shoes are clean and if appropriate, shined. Accessories follow that of ladies and gents.
Jewelry - Like accessories, picking a statement piece is good, but don't go overboard. If you have wedding or engagement rings, make sure they're cleaned for any possible close-ups. For kids, keep accessories minimal and "real" as much as possible. If your little princess refuses to leave the house without her bright pink plastic pearls, go with the flow and limit any other accessories. It will be a precious reminder of this time in her childhood and will be better than a pouting princess!
Nails & Hands - Make sure nails are trimmed and clean, either entirely unpolished or freshly painted. Having problems with old polish staining your nails? Try a little whitening toothpaste to help remove stains.
Hair - Wear your hair the way you normally would with the clothes you picked out to wear. For kids, pick simple styles that will last through the kids playing. Avoid tight ponytails, which could create a "balding" effect in the images.
Makeup - It should be slightly bolder than your everyday look, with definition on the eyes, cheeks, and lips. Stay away from the "smoky eye look" which can make eyes appear sunken. To prevent dark circles under your eyes, apply a small amount of concealer that matches your skin tone under your eyes.
Bad weather happens, unfortunately -- so we need to have plans on the off chance we might have an unfavorable day for taking pictures!
If we are forecast for a high percentage of steady rain or thunderstorms, we may postpone the rain date and you will be notified within a couple of days of the event.
If we are forecast for "iffy" weather (scattered thunderstorms, low percentages of rain, misty/foggy weather) we will still try to run the event. We will not shoot if thunder is audible, however. If your session gets passed due to waiting out a scattered storm, then we will reschedule you for the rain date.
If we have to postpone using the rain date you will be notified no later than the day before the event. If you do not receive an email from us, then we will still be running the event.
Hopefully, none of this will matter and we will have a bright sunny day! Everyone think good thoughts!